There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Theme CDs are generally as weak as a pitcher’s batting stroke. But Jeff Campbell goes deep with Diamond Cuts, a locally produced compilation of sung and spoken celebrations of baseball. Campbell throws heavy-hitters (Bruce Springsteen’s own version of “Glory Days,” Jumpin’ Jupiter pinch-hitting for John Fogerty on his “Centerfield”) into a lineup already teeming with delightful and tuneful obscurities. The gem in this eclectic collection is Chuck Brodsky’s “The Ballad of Eddie Klepp,” a folky homage to the white shadow of the Negro Leagues, which comes off as a screenplay waiting to happen. Bob Dylan’s “Catfish” is alluring for entirely different reasons: Exactly what was it about Catfish Hunter, a hurler with the “Bronx Zoo” Yankees of the late ’70s, that Dylan found worthy of a tribute? (The notoriety inspired by “Hurricane,” which Dylan wrote for incarcerated boxer Hurricane Carter, probably motivated this.) Odes to Joe DiMaggio (SF Seals), Satchel Paige (Bob Bossin), Ty Cobb (Wally Pleasant), and Nolan Ryan (Jerry Jeff Walker) fill out the starting rotation. Along with being a must for every sports bar, Diamond Cuts provides a perfect soundtrack for road trips to Camden Yards or the local sandlot. Take it out to the ballgame. The CD is available for $15.99 from Hungry for Music, a D.C. charity. Proceeds will also go to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. For information call (888) 843-0933.Dave McKenna